Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Crime and Daily Life in Early Modern England and Wales
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Project  (4000 words)  80%
Semester Assessment Blog / wiki  (1000 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Written Examination  (4000 words)  80%
Supplementary Assessment Written Essay  (1000 words)  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the different approaches that can be applied to the study of the history of crime.

2. Form and debate complex historical arguments relating to crime in the past.

3. Analyse and critically reflect on a range of sources used to research crime.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the limitations and strengths of using crime as a way to study wider society.

Brief description

At first sight, the study of crime illuminates the history of deviance and violence within society, along with the development of the legal system we know today. Upon closer inspection, however, it reveals to us a wealth of information regarding wider society at the time. Details within legal records inform us about their values, relationships, and material culture, thus making them invaluable when researching daily life. This module uses a variety of legal records to examine different aspects of daily life in early modern England and Wales. It considers crimes such as theft and murder, in addition to the experiences of women within the legal system the processes by which crime was investigated, and phenomena such as witchcraft to explore broader themes in early modern history.


This module will be taught over ten seminars which will cover the following topics;

1. Overview of crime in the early modern period
2. Accessing the Sources I – Introduction to legal records and palaeography
3. Accessing the Sources II – Palaeography continued
4. Investigating crime
5. Theft and the community
6. Manners and misdemeanours
7. Women within the records
8. Witchcraft and magic
9. Murder and violence
10. Concluding session

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop the basic skills needed to interpret manuscripts, and how to use these valuable sources in research.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 5